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Awful Ogre's Awful Day

Awful Ogre's Awful Day

by Jack Prelutsky, Paul O. Zelinsky (Illustrator), Paul Zelinsky (Illustrator)

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I'm an awful, awful ogre,

Absolutely awful ogre.

I'm so awful, Awful Ogre

Is my awful ogre name ...

Awful Ogre is huge, hungry, horrible –– and totally lovable. Larger than life, Awful Ogre packs into one day enough excitement, imagination, emotion, and sheer ebullience to last most of us a lifetime. In his awful, irresistible way, he steals the


I'm an awful, awful ogre,

Absolutely awful ogre.

I'm so awful, Awful Ogre

Is my awful ogre name ...

Awful Ogre is huge, hungry, horrible –– and totally lovable. Larger than life, Awful Ogre packs into one day enough excitement, imagination, emotion, and sheer ebullience to last most of us a lifetime. In his awful, irresistible way, he steals the heart of every reader.

Ages 6+

Editorial Reviews

In eighteen poems, Awful Ogre describes his gruesome daily routines: his disgusting breakfast, his wild dances, his bizarre garden, his favorite television shows on the Chopping Channel. Zelinsky, a Caldecott Award-winning artist, has great fun with his pen-and-watercolor illustrations, showing us an enormous one-eyed ogre and other not-too-scary creatures. Prelutsky's many devoted fans will undoubtedly be delighted by another poetic foray into the funny side of monsters. <%END%>
Publishers Weekly
In a starred review, PW called this collection of light verse "a divinely wretched celebration of subversity, with possibilities for gross-outs from sunup to sundown." Ages 6-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A series of eighteen imaginative verses, filled with gruesomely descriptive language, details the day of the ogre as told by himself. The rhythm of the rhymes changes with the subject, from disgusting meals and unusual love-letter to storm and bedtime, complete with reverse nightmares. The grisly, repulsive humor should appeal enormously to most kids; parents and teachers may find some hard to stomach through their laughter. Zelinsky draws the double-page scenes with devilish delight, tinting them with appropriate colors to enhance the graphic impact. Don't miss the borders, like that being torn on the jacket/cover by the ogre and repaired on the title page by tiny workers in hard hats. Many other inventive details are hidden throughout; both poems and illustrations will require many readings for full appreciation. 2001, Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, $15.95. Ages 6 to 12. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-This collection of 18 witty poems chronicles a day in the life of Awful Ogre. He towers over buildings and ordinary folk with his carpet of grass-green hair; red, bulbous nose; and single, large, green-and-yellow eye. He doesn't sound real cute, but underneath he's one swell guy. In "Awful Ogre's Breakfast," Prelutsky has fun with the normal breakfast routine. The spread depicts the ogre leaning back on his chair, gazing into his bowl of, yes, scream of wheat, complete with tongues and teeth. Children are sure to memorize Prelutsky's inventive verse and will avidly search the illustrations for their hidden jokes. Take for instance "Awful Ogre's TV Time," in which his favorite channel is the Chopping Network. In "Awful Ogre Dances," Prelutsky's prose stretches across the bottom half of the spread in perfect accompaniment to Zelinsky's dozen frames of Awful Ogre lithely (honestly) gliding across the top half. "I dance with abandon/Bravura, and zest,/I carom off boulders/And beat on my chest./I pirouette wildly/And leap into space/With power, panache,/And unparalleled grace." Even though Awful Ogre claims to be the awfulest of all, he remains awfully appealing throughout his rants and misadventures. Consider purchasing an extra copy-just in case he is checked out for an awfully long time.-Lisa Gangemi Krapp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In 18 poems, grisly enough to delight the taste for the macabre in any child, Prelutsky takes the Awful Ogre through his predictably awful day. From early rising to evening rest, everything that is grotesque is Ogre's idea of grand ... breakfast of "ghoul on toast," a beloved ogress with greasy green tresses, a garden of well-sharpened thorns and poisonous plants, a precious collection of bones. The rhymes are wickedly rich in vocabulary (his weeds are scrofulous) and wordplay (at TV time, Ogre adores "The Chopping Channel"), and the scansion rarely goes wrong. As depicted gleefully by Prelutsky and Zelinsky, this ogre is a huge, lovable innocent who is unaware of any offense he might give. He seems not to notice that his left nostril houses a skunk. Happily, the illustrations are as blissfully unfettered by the demands of good taste as the poems. They command repeated and close scrutiny, containing ironic humor never mentioned in the text (the limbs on the fire have feet and most of Ogre's household appointments are satisfyingly monstrous). Far different from the painterly style we associate with the Caldecott-winning Zelinsky, his looser style reveals a surprisingly fiendish sense of humor with only the formal borders to remind you of his other renowned works. Of course, even the borders are filled with various forms of unpleasantness. Programmers, let yourselves go, this is a dramatic reader's delight and you'll find your listeners in your lap, not trembling with fear but with laughter, and clamoring to get a closer look at the illustrations. A bad day has never been a better romp. "(Poetry. 6-10)"

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.00(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt


Oh breakfast, lovely breakfast,
You're the meal I savor most.
I sip a bit of gargoyle bile
And chew some ghoul on toast.

I linger over scrambled legs,
Complete with pickled feet,
Then finish with a piping bowl

Awful Ogre's Awful Day. Copyright © by Jack Prelutsky. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Jack Prelutsky is the best-selling author of more than fifty books of poetry, including The New Kid on the Block, illustrated by James Stevenson, and Stardines Swim High Across the Sky, illustrated by Carin Berger. Jack Prelutsky lives in Washington State.

Paul O. Zelinsky is the illustrator of Anne Isaac's Dust Devil and creator of the now-classic interactive book called The Wheels on the Bus. His retelling of Rapunzel was awarded the 1998 Caldecott Medal. Rumpelstitlskin, Hansel and Gretel and Swamp Angel with different authors all garnered Paul a Caldecott Honor. Since 1991 Paul O. Zelinsky has lived in the same apartment with his wife Deborah in northern Brooklyn, New York.

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